Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Good links

One of my irregular sharings of gems from the web. 

I'm ridiculously excited that the Rembrandt Corpus is now free online (vols I-V only, so far). I've been dipping in obsessively. There's also now an excellent Cézanne catalogue online. Registration required, but well worth it. A model of its kind. And Paul Spencer-Longhurst's Richard Wilson catalogue also in full free online. A lot of guff is written about digital art history. It's really just like the old art history, only online. Nice to see some people getting on and doing it instead of gassing about it. Of course I still like my data written down and nicely bound, so I'm hoping the first three volumes that I don't own will become cheap now they're available online. 

The Getty has now launched the digital archive of Duveen Brothers and Knoedler, which has been long delayed. It's a great resource, but I find it difficult to use online. I'd much prefer to be rummaging in archive boxes! Still, it's terrific that this is all online for anyone to access. 

I absolutely loved this article by Jerry Saltz, 'When did the art world get so conservative?'. Among other things it's a defence of eccentricity. As an eccentric, I appreciated that. In many ways I wish the art world were more conservative, but Saltz hits all the right targets - bad art world conservatism, not the good kind that I uphold!

This Spectator article about the National Trust disturbs me greatly because it is so true. Do read the comments - there's some excellent material there. Go back to it, even if you've read it already, and read the comments.

I was also deeply upset by the announcement of the Frick's expansion plans, which threatened to spoil one of the world's great unique museums by making it as much like all the others as possible. But I've been heartened by the strength of response. I commend the lobbying group Unite to Save the Frick and I warmly endorse the great points made by former director Everett Fahy.

From the blogs, a few posts have stood out recently. Rembrandt's Room and The Frame Blog both run excellent essay-length posts that are often more valuable and more readable than most journal articles. I enjoyed recent posts on Sassetta's Borgo San Sepolcro Altarpiece and the conservation of a Stanford White frame, respectively. Art History News hosted an interesting debate about a recent NG acquisition (a bad one in my view). I've also been enjoying (and cheering on) his sceptical posts on the use of science in art history, such as this excellent critique of Pascal Cotte.  

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